Saturday, July 23, 2011

Everyone loves a parade!

I took Mom to the Hi-Yu Seafair parade in West Seattle today. It took some doing, as her apartment is in the blocked off area. I managed to find a place in a lot two blocks away. I took her chair and set out to pick her up. Once she put on her shoes and hat she was ready to go. I got her back to the car and helped her slowly transfer from the chair to the front seat of the car.

I drove the back streets to find a place that would be relatively close to the parade route and to the spot that Pamela and Haven were waiting for our arrival. It took some doubling back and around, but I finally found a shady parking place. Again, I helped Mom transfer from the car to the chair. We were off! The problem I noticed right away was the absence of handicapped curbs on the corners. I had to lift the chair and then slowly steady it as I put Mom down on the street. We covered six blocks this way and finally found Pamela and Haven.

We all watched the clowns and the marching bands and those silly Seafair Pirates and Clowns. There were politicians marching, drill teams and floats drifting by. Mom seemed to have a good time just being out and seeing some new sights. Haven did great will the load explosions from the Seafair Pirates and generally seemed to enjoy her first parade. At the end of the parade, Pamela and Haven took off for the house. Mom and I headed back to the car but decided to stop at Mcdonalds for some lunch. We got back to the car and did the slow transfer again.

Getting Mom back to her apartment was again a bit of a challenge. I found one side street nearby where I could legally park. The big barrier was the large rocks that made up the parking strip. Mom was worried and not sure she could navigate them. I held her hands and told her that she could do it. She finally made it to the level sidewalk and sat down in her transport chair. I rolled her up the street and got her safely to her building, into the elevator and back to her apartment. Whew....quite the adventure!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

No Doctors!

I asked Mom recently if she wanted to go to the doctor. She said "NO DOCTORS"!!! She also refused to consider going into a nursing home where her needs could be taken care of 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Mom is in a new stage. She sleeps almost all the time. She says her legs are weak. She seems to have little or no ability to prepare food. I have been going over once or twice a day to heat up food, prepare salads, and do laundry and dishes. The edema in her legs is worse. She has a cough. It feels like she is less and less present.

Watching this is hard for me. I try to stay focused on what it is that I can do to help her or improve her day. Sometimes just preparing a meal for her helps. Sometimes vacuuming the apartment makes her feel better. I straighten out her bed clothes and try to make sure that her pillows are stacked up. Tonight I had to convince her to change into her nightgown and get into bed. She just laid there all curled up.

I will go back tomorrow morning to make her breakfast and try to get her comfortable for the day.

Friday, July 8, 2011


This morning I went over to Mom's like I have for many Friday mornings. I fixed us breakfast and set it out for us. Mom had one of her bills out and we talked about that for a bit. She wanted to pay with a money order, but I told her that she was going to use a check. I made the check out and gave it to her to sign. She looked at me and asked me what her last name was....I looked at her and told her her last name and how to spell it. As I was doing this I was thinking " now we are here...she is really starting to forget things."

After breakfast I got her to the car and then to the post office. We mailed her bill and then drove to the grocery store. She told me what she wanted and then sat in the car while I went into the store. She can no longer navigate the power carts. I got back with her groceries and then drove us back to her apartment. Since there was a local festival going on right up the street I had Mom stay in the car while I took her groceries upstairs.

I loaded her into the transport chair and pushed her all through the fair. She seemed to enjoy that quite a bit. Afterwards, I took her home, made her lunch and then told her I would be back for breakfast on Sunday.

As I walked down the hall to the elevator all I could think was "How will her memory loss begin to make a serious situation even more difficult for her and for me." Time will tell.